Beds, Herts & Bucks

Fordfield House Day Nursery child 'left in woodland'

Fordfield House Day Nursery
Image caption Fordfield House Day Nursery was rated outstanding in July 2014

A young child was left behind in woodland by nursery school staff at the end of a walk, the BBC understands.

Fordfield House Nursery in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, which caters for under fives, notified Ofsted an "incident" took place in December and "apologised unreservedly" to parents.

The child was found and returned by someone from a nearby riding stables.

Ofsted confirmed a "serious incident" occurred but has not explained how the child came to be left behind.

The BBC learned staff at the nursery, which was rated outstanding by Ofsted after an inspection last July, had taken the youngsters for a walk in nearby woods.

The nursery has refused to confirm the age of the child left behind or how long he or she was left alone.

An Ofsted spokesman said it was notified on 10 December and, after an investigation, issued "compliance action".

'Changes in place'

This included a "notice to improve" which asked the nursery to "ensure children are kept safe on outings" and "identify the steps to be taken to remove, minimise and manage... risks and hazards".

"The owner took immediate action following the incident," its report said.

"All outings have been stopped until relevant policies and procedures have been amended and fully implemented within the nursery."

The nursery said its director, Carole Cross, "fully admitted there was an incident" and "kept [parents] fully informed".

"We made our parents and Ofsted fully aware at that time and they rigorously inspected the nursery and investigated," a statement said.

"We complied and worked with the inspection team immediately and, as a result, we have put improved and effective changes in place to make our nursery even better than it was.

"We have apologised unreservedly to our parents."

Ofsted said it had also carried out a further inspection and a report would be published "in due course".

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